Friday, May 15, 2009
A new chapter of Sweet Dreams is up for your reading pleasure.
A new chapter of Sweet Dreams is up for your reading pleasure.
Chris Daughtry apologizes for his appearance. Although it's not visible and we thought it would be rude to check for ourselves, Daughtry says he's feeling a little grimy because he's covered in both sunscreen and a fine layer of dirt. The sticky combo plan comes from shooting the video for "No Surprise" in a quarry pit in Irwindale, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles under a brutal, unforgiving sun with no cover.
The rock quarry is in operation, so Daughtry and his bandmates gather round with the cast and crew to receive a safety briefing from the quarry foreman, who, himself, looks straight out of central casting. We're told to, for God's sake, smoke nowhere near the many oxygen canisters and to tread lightly in certain areas. There are steel beams at 45 degree angles criss crossing for several stories high. The scene resembles a cross between the moon, some kind of modern sculpture and the opening of "Casino Royale" where the Daniel Craig-era James Bond is fighting one of the bad guys and jumping from beam to beam.
It's the first day of the two-day video shoot and Hitfix is one of two outlets invited to the filming. The treatment is so top secret that Daughtry himself isn't really sure what the plot is.
"Well, we're unclear actually," he laughs, sitting in the back of a, thankfully, air conditioned tour bus with band bassist Josh Paul. "We know that it involves a tumultuous relationship. It's almost, from what I gather, about a couple who are aiming for the same goal, but they keep missing it, missing each other. They're not communicating and one of the biggest causes of either break ups or divorce is financial struggles and lack of communication." A premiere date has yet to be announced.
All we know is that a plot point involves a huge boulder that had to be brought into the quarry, which is a bit like bringing sand to the beach, but, apparently, there were no suitably large stones at the pit. Nathan Cox is directing the video, which will debut in a few weeks.
Daughtry premiered "No Surprise," the first single from the band's forthcoming sophomore album, "Leave This Town," on "American Idol" last week. It's a mid-tempo, slow burner about leaving a relationship with no regrets long after the break should have come.
"No Surprise" features a "cavalcade" of songwriters, Daughtry says. Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, who wrote the chorus with Eric Dill and Rune Westberg, played Daughtry the chorus, but admitted the trio had gotten no further with the tune. "I was like, ‘Yeah, man, I love it, let's work on it'," Daughtry recalls. "So the chorus had already set the tone for the song so we already knew what the story was about so it was just a matter of let's set it up: You had this thing on your mind or your heart for the longest time and the longer you keep it in, the harder it is talk about it or confront the other person, so just picture this guy in the mirror going over what he's going to say. I think everybody, whether it's a relationship or anything that's difficult in life, everybody's experienced that moment and so, it is about letting go, it is about saying, we knew this was coming, why don't we both accept it and we'll thank each other tomorrow."
The five songs Hitfix heard from the 12-tune "Leave This Town" follow in the same vein, with a lot of questioning about relationships and issues that confront us all when we try to do the right thing. Paul says the album shows various sides of the band. "There are a lot of different sounds on this record," he says. "We have some really heavy tunes and a country song and a bit of a dance vibe in there."
Daughtry is quick to add without even being asked, neither "No Surprise," nor any of the songs on "Leave This Town" that deal with break ups, are about him and his wife of nearly nine years, Deanna.
But he adds that having a debut album sell five million albums and touring with the likes of Nickelback and Bon Jovi doesn't make him or any other celebrity immune from problems. "People think because we're famous, or whatever you want to call it, we don't go through the exact same problems, personal problems as anybody else. ['No Surprise'] is stuff that we can relate to."
"Leave This Town," produced by Howard Benson, comes out July 14.
American Idol. I watch faithfully every week, hope for the best and pray that my favorite gets through to the next week. My pick this year to at least get to the final was Danny Gokey. He was the guy who auditioned four weeks after burying his wife and 10 months later, look at how much he accomplished.
Spoiler Alert!!!! (if you don't want to know what happened, stop reading right now!!)
Sadly, Danny didn't make it. Kris Allen, the dark horse throughout the competition and Adam Lambert, fan and judge favorite from day one, will be competing for that coveted Idol crown next Tuesday. Aside from the scream from hell at the end of Dream On last week, Danny was consistent from week to week. He was never in the bottom three, but, still, he got voted off last night. I hope that, like Chris Daughtry, he goes on to bigger and much better things and we get an album from him in the next year.
I found a video from Rat Pack week when he did Come Rain, Come Shine. It was one of my favorite performances. He had a lot of what Simon called "swagger" that week. I think that was the week he finally started to believe he might actually win this thing.
(this first part he was with Jamie Foxx who was mentoring the kids that week. He starts singing at about 1:11 or so)
I have a couple songs too, You Are So Beautiful (my other absolutely favorite performance) and Stand By Me.
This guy has a great voice (he's got that whole raspy thing going on) and, like I said, I hope to hear more from him in the future.
After the screening, I asked him why he'd chosen to shoot in monochrome. He said: "I'm a photographer as well as a filmmaker and When this film was originally conceived I had taken a series of photographs of Jon in Minnesota when he was performing. And he saw one particular shot, which was a black and white shot, which he loved, and asked me to go on tour with the band so I could do more photography.
So, I joined the Lost Highway tour just after Minnesota and did a month with them on the road doing stills, all of which were black and white - they always look good like that. And then he said: 'I really like this one picture, it's me - it's a grumpy old guy who sits in the corner moaning about things. I'd like you to make a film like this photograph.' And I said: 'Well, okay, this is your 25th anniversary and as long as you allow me to expose the band like those black and white photographs, I will do it.'
So the working title of the film was 25 Years In Black And White and black and white not because of the colour but because black and white is the truth."
He went on to say he shot around nine months of footage. When asked about the 'work in progress' moniker attached to it here, he said: "In many ways it is complete but I wanted to see what people thought of it, because if they left me I would work on it for another... There's so much footage and so many scenes we could add and so much honesty in what the guys said to me that I wanted to see it on a screen and in a cinema before I said, it's done."
When asked how Jon reacted to the film, he says it was "mixed". He adds: "There were a lot of conversations about what would be included and what wouldn't be included. He felt quite exposed by some of the things that I managed to get him to say, as did Richie, and we had many conversations about that. He's a very good collaborator because he knows what he's good and and he knows what he's not good at, but he has a very big opinion about what he's not good at at the same, but if you talk long enough and hard at him he will give in, because he just gets bored.
"My final comment with some of the lines that he wanted removed from the film was that if Richie's prepared to sit on a boat with me and talk about his addictions, then you should be willing to talk about how great but tiring your life is."
He adds that he was "absolutely not" a fan of the band before he began to work with them. He says: "I think there are many pluses to the fact that I knew nothing about their history - and I didn't read anything about them either. I did a little bit of Googling about who each character was and got their Wikipedia stuff up but I wanted to go into those conversations with them not knowing much, so I could learn something."
He also says it was a conscious decision both to focus on the band themselves, not their families, and to keep their current position at the forefront, without going over the ashes of the past. He adds: "We wanted to refer to the past but I wanted this to be a contemporary look at a band that have lasted a long time and I didn't want it to be a Behind The Music because then I didn't think it would be a film, it would just be a retrospective, I wanted to hear what they had to say now."
Dorothea Bongiovi. We envy her for being married to our favorite front man, but to hate her for it, to bash her for being who she is, I just don't see the need for it.
I was reading some posts on another board about the White House Correspondent's Dinner Saturday night. I have to tell you, some of the things being said about this woman bothered me to no end. I thought she looked fabulous Saturday night. Apparently not everyone thought so and boy, did they let their opinions be known. They didn't like the way she wore her hair, they didn't care for her dress, etc., etc. Leave the woman alone already, jeesh.
I have never met her, but she looks like perfectly nice lady. She is just like you and/or me, only with way more in her pocketbook than I will ever see in my lifetime. I mean to say that she is an everyday sort of gal, not all Hollywood plastic and glam. She and Jon met way back when they were in high school and, really, how can you fault a guy for sticking with the girl that first made his heart race and his palms sweat?
She has stuck by him through the ups and downs, put up with the masses trying to claw their way past her to get to him. Tell me, how many of us would put up with that. (Tho, some days, I'd like someone to take mine away. LOL) But, still, he hasn't found a need to trade her in (his words) and she, apparently hasn't found a reason to walk away either. I say good for them.
From what little they show us, it seems they are still madly in love after all these years and it is nice to see.
So, envy Dot for who she is married to. I know I do. But, don't bash the woman, she was the one he wanted not any of us. While I will continue lust over the man, you won't hear me badmouthing his wife. Well, other than to say just this one thing, lipstick honey, try a little lipstick.
Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea were indeed at the dinner in DC last night. She looked stunning and of course, Jon totally rocked the tux.
These are the first two pics I came across. I am sure there are others out there, but for now, you can drool over these!